Koko to BOC: Auction off luxury vehicles to serious collectors
Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III proposed on Thursday that smuggled luxury cars be sold at public auction open to serious car collectors instead of merely destroying the expensive vehicles.
Pimentel, in a statement, said the Bureau of Customs (BOC) should consider other courses of action other than wrecking luxury cars. One of which could be selling the imported cars in an auction with its proceeds benefitting calamity victims.
Last Tuesday, the BOC, with President Rodrigo Duterte as witness, led the destruction of smuggled luxury cars, with road rollers crushing 20 high-end vehicles worth at least P61.6 million. These included brands and models like Lexus, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Audi, Jaguar, and Corvette Stingray.
The Senate president pointed out that luxury cars were not comparable to cigarettes and drugs, which have no good intrinsic value to humans, and therefore can be destroyed when confiscated.
“(C)ars and other manufactured items have economic value, and luxury cars particularly have great value to serious car collectors. In the manufacture of these luxury cars, a lot of energy has been expended, which I am sure has contributed to over-all global warming,” he said.
“Let us not waste the energy, resources, and intellectual effort consumed in the making of these luxury cars,” Pimentel said.
“Hence my proposal is to sell them at public auction but open only to serious car collectors based abroad. The proceeds can be used to help calamity victims.”
Pimentel stressed that the auction should be open to legitimate car collectors.
“We don’t want them to be auctioned, only for those who smuggled them in, to benefit. But if we sell them to buyers abroad, then we would have achieved the same objective and earned money for the government for use in worthwhile causes like helping victims of natural calamities,” he said. /jpv
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